Preserving demo recipes- Damson jam

Added by Freya on 10 November 2010
This is worth making for the smell that fills your kitchen alone!

Makes around 750ml
1kg of just ripe damsons (mine were bought from Ryefield)
1.25kg of preserving sugar or granulated sugar
(though I haven't tried it with this recipe, I've been told that you can substitute between 25% and 50% of the sugar with honey. If anyone knows much about using honey for jam making I'd love some more info!)
400ml of water

Gently cook the fruit with the water in a large preserving pan (or similar) for around half an hour. By this point the fruit should be soft and almost mushy. Do not add the sugar until this point, as it will toughen the skins and cause the fruit to remain more intact than is desirable.

Slowly dissolve the sugar into the fruit before bringing to a rolling boil for between 10 and 15 minutes. The stones should begin to bob up to the surface. Remove them with a slotted spoon allowing any liquid to return to the pan and remove any scum.


At this point the jam should be reaching setting point. You can test this either by measuring the temperature with a sugar thermometer at regular intervals (it is ready when it reaches 104 degrees Celsius) or by dropping a spoonful of the mixture onto a cold saucer. Leave it to cool for a minute or two and push your finger horizontally across it. If the mixture crinkles it is ready.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the jam to cool slightly. This allows any larger chunks to distribute more evenly through the mixture. Carefully pour the jam into warm sterilized jars to within 3mm of the rim and seal immediately. Allow the jars to cool completely before labelling and use within 1 year.

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